Irish nanny charged in US baby death seeks bail
WOBURN, Massachusetts (AP) — An Irish nanny accused of killing a baby in her care asked a judge on Tuesday to grant her bail so she can be released from jail while awaiting trial.
Lawyers for Aisling Brady McCarthy argued that prosecutors have failed to turn over critical evidence they need to defend her against murder charges in the death of Rehma Sabir, who was hospitalized with severe head injuries on her first birthday in January and died two days later.
McCarthy’s lawyers argued that the case against her is weaker than prosecutors claimed after she was arrested. They cited notes of police interviews in which they say the baby’s mother appears to have said “no issues with nanny” when questioned the night she was rushed to the hospital.
Prosecutors say McCarthy, 35, “violently” injured the baby, whose family lived in Cambridge, just outside Boston. McCarthy lived in nearby Quincy.
Judge S. Jane Haggerty said she expects to rule on the bail request Wednesday.
The judge also said she expects to rule by the end of the week on a defense request to dismiss the charges against McCarthy.
McCarthy’s lawyers argued that prosecutors presented “false and deceptive” information to a grand jury, including evidence about earlier bone fractures the girl had with no accompanying evidence linking the injuries to McCarthy.
On Tuesday, the defense told the judge that prosecutors still have not turned over medical reports about the earlier fractures and other evidence vital to their defense of McCarthy.
“An innocent person sits in jail while we are begging for discovery,” attorney Melinda Thompson said.
Assistant District Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said prosecutors have turned over more than 500 pages of notes from doctors at Children’s Hospital, where the baby was treated, and grand jury testimony, including that of a doctor on the earlier bone fractures. He said prosecutors are waiting for medical reports on the fractures from outside experts.
Fitzgerald didn’t comment directly on the defense claim that the prosecution’s case against McCarthy is weaker than what was presented to the grand jury that indicted her, but he said he doesn’t think McCarthy should be granted bail.
“I see nothing that has changed relevant to the issue of bail,” he said.
After McCarthy’s arrest, immigration officials said she was in the United States illegally after arriving from Ireland in 2002, when she was authorized to stay only 90 days.